Terming the issue of protection and preservation of the Taj Mahal a “hopeless cause”, the Supreme Court today came down heavily on the government over its failure to come up with solid steps in the matter.
Slamming both the Centre and the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government, the top court observed that inaction on part of the central and state governments was a result of sheer lethargy on part of the authorities.
Coming down hard on the UP government, the apex court said that it had failed to come out with a vision document to preserve and protect the Taj Mahal. “Despite a parliamentary standing committee report on Taj protection, no concrete step taken by the government,” an SC bench of Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said, and termed the issue of Taj Mahal’s protection a “hopeless cause”.
On its part, the Centre told the bench that the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur was assessing the levels of air pollution in and around the mausoleum and will submit its report in four months. It further said that a special committee has also been set up to find the source of pollution in and around the Taj, which will suggest measures to prevent it.
In February this year, the apex court directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file within four weeks a vision document for protection and preservation of the Taj Mahal.
The apex court had also directed the state government to explain the sudden flurry of activities in and around the Taj Mahal and the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ). It also asked the state government to explain why leather industries and hotels were coming up there.
The court has now said that it will begin daily hearing in the matter starting July 31. The top court has been monitoring developments in the area to protect the monument which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.